By Gary Gastelu
Published December 06, 2019
Acura is going back to the future.
The Honda-owned luxury brand has rebooted its first SUV with the technology from its latest.
An engineering team took a 1996 Acura SLX, which was based on the Isuzu Trooper, and rebuilt it with the motor and all-wheel-drive system from a 2019 Acura RDX.
The body-off rebuild included adding an independent rear suspension and Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive while swapping the original 3.2-liter V6 and 4-speed automatic transmission for a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder tuned to produce 350 hp and a 10-speed unit.
The exterior and interior of the car were preserved largely intact, with the subtle addition of paddle gear shifters on the steering wheel, SH-AWD badges and a hard shell spare tire carrier on the tailgate. Even the new wheels were designed to look like the originals.
The truck will be making its public debut at the 1980s/1990s themed RADwood car show in Los Angeles on Dec. 7, and Acura produced a retro sci-fi comedy-style promotional video to go with it.
Acura hasn’t announced any plans to bring the SLX back to the lineup, but the new Honda Passport resurrected a name first used in the 1990s, so you never know what to expect.
Certainly, no one expected Acura to build this.